sur·​round | \ sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio) \
surrounded; surrounding; surrounds

Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to enclose on all sides : envelop the crowd surrounded her
(2) : to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest entry 2
b : to form or be a member of the entourage of flatterers who surround the king
c : to constitute part of the environment of surrounded by poverty
d : to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle a wall surrounds the old city
2 : to cause to be surrounded by something surrounded himself with friends



Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a border or ambient environment) that surrounds from urban centre to rural surround— Emrys Jones

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Examples of surround in a Sentence


A wall surrounds the old city. They had the suspect surrounded. She was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of excited fans. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the decision. His departure was surrounded by secrecy.


the vast, featureless surround of the desert was strangely appealing to him
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Army’s tent city, surrounded by razor wire, sprouted out of an empty field. Sig Christenson,, "In Fort Sam’s tranquil quadrangle, Buchanan was at center of storm," 7 July 2019 One photo shows Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surrounded by their family, including grandparents Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland. Vogue, "See New, Adorable Portraits of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s Christening," 6 July 2019 In the first, Markle holds Baby Archie on a small sofa with Prince Harry, surrounded by family including Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Prince William, and Kate Middleton. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Here's Your First Look at Archie's Royal Christening," 6 July 2019 In Whittier, the bus made a stop at Begich Tower Condominium, where virtually all of the town’s 220 residents live, surrounded by junked boats and a makeshift reindeer pen. Anchorage Daily News, "“Beautiful impression”: Chinese tourism to Alaska is growing fast," 5 July 2019 Just one day after Kravitz tied the knot surrounded by her family and friends in Paris, Witherspoon, 43, shared a sweet photo with her Big Little Lies costar, 30, to Instagram. Joelle Goldstein,, "Reese Witherspoon Snuggles Up to Zoë Kravitz in Sweet Photo Following Costar's Wedding in Paris," 2 July 2019 Researchers place the robot in a tank surrounded by electromagnetic coils. Matt Simon, WIRED, "This Jellyfish Robot Is Much More Than Just a Good Swimmer," 2 July 2019 Early in the show, a lonely-looking Ailes sits in a diner surrounded by Christmas decorations. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Showtime's Fox News series launches with 10 major Roger Ailes talking points," 1 July 2019 The pair exchanged vows in Sarrians in southern France surrounded by family and friends followed by a wedding reception at Château de Tourreau. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Sophie Turner & Joe Jonas' Wedding Was Full Of Celebrities," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cooke’s voice, backed by the ethereal harmonies of his gospel group, the Soul Stirrers, pulsated along the curved walls of acoustic tiles from a surround-sound system. Washington Post, "The Museum of the Bible: The last place in D.C. you might expect to hear Queen, Kanye and the Clash," 24 June 2019 At the rear, quad exhausts get brushed silver surrounds. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Cadillac revamps its sportiest lineup, adds new CT4-V and CT5-V sedans," 31 May 2019 The mirror in the bathroom has pine-branch surrounds; there are Pendleton throws on the beds and couches—roughing it, this isn’t. Alec Scott, Sunset Magazine, "Lake Effect: On Reviving a Family Tradition with Your Closest Friends," 22 Jan. 2018 Step down into the living room and adjoining dining room, which are filled with natural light and feature a front-facing picture window, and a fireplace with a brick surround. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Home’s ideal setting in Almaden Valley is close to beautiful parks and top-rated schools," 19 June 2019 The chunky fireplace surround, which had been taupe in color, now is a refreshing white. Nancy Schoeffler,, "Decorator Showhouse In West Hartford A Showcase Of Inspired Home Design," 29 Apr. 2018 New this year are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a retuned suspension, and a surround-view parking camera. James Raia, Houston Chronicle, "Mazda CX-9: Family hauler is versatile, well-equipped, has plenty of overall appeal," 8 June 2019 In Avalon and its surrounds, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and e-bike and golf cart rentals are also par for the course. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 The bathroom features a marble tile floor and vanity, large shower with tile surround and decorative tile accents. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Tasteful home in a picturesque neighborhood close to top schools, parks, hiking," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surround.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of surround


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surround


Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by round entry 5 — more at water

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Statistics for surround

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surround

The first known use of surround was circa 1616

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More Definitions for surround



English Language Learners Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be on every side of (someone or something)
: to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping
: to be closely related or connected to (something)



English Language Learners Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: a border or an area that is around the outside edge of something


sur·​round | \ sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio) \
surrounded; surrounding

Kids Definition of surround

1 : to enclose on all sides : encircle A fence surrounds the property.
2 : to be closely related or connected to … my actions will help to dispel this terrible myth of evil that seems to surround rats everywhere.— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

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More from Merriam-Webster on surround

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surround

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surround

Spanish Central: Translation of surround

Nglish: Translation of surround for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surround for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surround

What made you want to look up surround? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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